Top 5 Highest Grossing Movies in Tollywood
Telugu cinema, popularly known as Tollywood, is the second-largest film production center in India. It has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century when filmmaker Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu started making short films in 1909. He is considered the Father of Telugu cinema and is credited with creating the first Telugu feature film, Bhishma Pratigna, in 1921.
Over the years, Telugu cinema has witnessed the rise of talented filmmakers who have contributed to various genres, including mythical, fantasy, and dramatic movies. Filmmakers like K. V. Reddy, B. Vittalacharya, and Kodi Ramakrishna played significant roles in establishing these genres in the industry. Their films, such as Tenali Ramakrishna, have been recognized with prestigious awards like the All India Certificate of Merit.
Several Telugu films have achieved tremendous success at the box office and set new records. Mayabazar, a 1956 film, is widely regarded as one of the best Indian movies ever made. Adavi Ramudu, featuring N. T. Rama Rao, became the first Telugu film to gross one crore in 1977.
Another milestone in Telugu cinema was the 1992 film Gharana Mogudu, directed by K. Raghavendra Rao and starring Chiranjeevi, which became the first Telugu film to surpass the 10-crore mark at the box office.
In recent times, Telugu cinema has witnessed a resurgence, with movies that not only captivate audiences with their compelling stories but also rake in significant earnings at the box office. These movies have played a vital role in revitalizing the industry post-pandemic and attracting audiences back to theaters.
The highest-grossing Telugu movies, along with their simultaneous and dubbed versions, have made a significant impact on the industry. These films have not only entertained audiences but also broken records with their massive earnings, making them a vital part of Telugu cinema’s success story.
List of Highest Grossing Movies in Tollywood
In this blog, we will delve into the nostalgic movies highest-grossing movies in Tollywood that dominated the box office, applaud their incredible performances, and highlight their record-breaking achievements. These highest-grossing Telugu movies have left an indelible mark on the industry and continue to captivate audiences with their cinematic brilliance.
1. RRR (2022) | Highest-grossing movies in Tollywood
- Directed by S.S. Rajamouli
- Produced by D.V.V. Danayya.
- It features a stellar ensemble cast including N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn, and Olivia Morris in prominent roles.
RRR is a period-action drama film. Set in the pre-independence era, RRR is a fictionalized account of the lives of two renowned freedom fighters, Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem. The film derives its title, RRR, from the first letter of the names of these two influential characters. The movie has been made in multiple languages, such as Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, and Kannada, aiming to cater to a wider audience base.
- RRR has been hailed as one of the most expensive Indian films ever made, with significant investments made in its production. The screenplay for the film was penned by V. Vijayendra Prasad and S. S. Rajamouli, who also directed the film. D. V. V. Danayya, under the banner of DVV Entertainment, served as the producer.
- The narrative revolves around the deep friendship between Alluri Sitarama Raju, portrayed by Ram Charan, and Komaram Bheem, played by N. T. Rama Rao Jr. These two real-life Indian rebels valiantly fought against the British Raj, leaving a lasting impact on the nation’s history.
- RRR, with a budget of 550 crore rupees ($72 million), stands as the costliest Indian film ever made. Upon its theatrical release on March 25, 2022, the film garnered praise for Rajamouli’s direction, the compelling script, and the remarkable performances of the cast members.
- RRR broke multiple box office records, including the record for the highest opening-day revenue for an Indian film. With a worldwide gross of 1,200 crores ($175.47 million), it became the third-highest-grossing Indian movie and the second-highest-grossing Telugu film globally.
- It also achieved the distinction of being the highest-grossing Indian film in Japan. The film received nominations in three categories at the 47th Saturn Awards and won the prestigious Best International Film award.
RRR’s grand scale, gripping storyline, and stellar performances have made it a monumental success, captivating audiences worldwide and solidifying its position as a cinematic masterpiece.
2. Baahubali 2: | Highest-grossing movies in Tollywood
- Baahubali 2 released in 2017,
- Directed by S. S. Rajamouli
- The ensemble cast of Baahubali 2 includes Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah, Ramya Krishna, Sathyaraj, Nassar, and Subbaraju.
- Baahubali is an Indian epic action film directed by S. S. Rajamouli, who co-wrote the script with V. Vijayendra Prasad. Produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni under Arka Media Works, the film was simultaneously filmed in Tamil and Telugu languages.
- Set in medieval India, the story revolves around the conflict between Amarendra Baahubali and Bhallaladeva. Bhallaladeva plans to assassinate Amarendra Baahubali with the help of Kattappa. The plot follows the son of Amarendra Baahubali as he seeks revenge years later.
- Notably, Baahubali 2 had a reported budget of 250 crores ($37 million), making it the most expensive Indian movie ever made at the time. The film achieved tremendous success at the box office, with a global gross of Rs. 1,810 crores ($267 million), briefly surpassing PK (2014) to become the highest-grossing Indian movie of all time. It also became the fastest Indian film to earn over 1,000 crores, achieving this milestone in just ten days.
- Baahubali 2 broke numerous box office records in India, emerging as the highest-grossing film in Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi languages. It currently holds the title of the highest-grossing movie in India, the second-highest-grossing Indian film globally, and ranked as the 39th highest-grossing film of 2017.
With its grand scale, captivating storyline, and stunning visuals, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion captivated audiences worldwide and solidified its place as a monumental success in Indian cinema.
3. Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) | Highest-grossing movie in Tollywood
- Co-writer and Director: S. S. Rajamouli
S. S. Rajamouli took on the role of co-writer and director for the 2015 Indian epic action film Baahubali: The Beginning. The film was co-produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni under the esteemed banner of Arka Media Works. Both Tamil and Telugu versions of the movie were shot simultaneously, showcasing its regional appeal.
- Baahubali: The Beginning unfolds the captivating story of Sivudu, a brave young man who embarks on a journey to rescue Devasena, the former queen of Mahishmati, from the clutches of the tyrant King Bhallaladeva, with the assistance of his love interest, Avantika. The film sets the stage for the sequel, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, which brings the narrative to its ultimate conclusion.
- With a budget of 180 crores ($28 million), Baahubali: The Beginning stood as the most expensive film produced in India at the time of its release.
- The Hindi and Malayalam dubbed versions of the film also had their global premieres on July 10, 2015, further expanding its reach. The film achieved remarkable success, ranking as the fifth-highest-grossing movie in India, the thirteenth-highest-grossing Indian film globally, and the third-highest-grossing South Indian film, with a global box office gross ranging from 581 to 650 crores ($93-101 million).
- Baahubali: The Beginning received critical acclaim and accolades, including the prestigious National Film Award for Best Feature Film and the National Award for Best Special Effects. It also garnered recognition at the 63rd Filmfare Awards South, where it received five awards. The film’s grandiose scale, gripping storytelling, and outstanding visual effects captivated audiences, cementing its position as a remarkable cinematic achievement.
4. Saaho (2019) | Highest-grossing movies in Tollywood
- Directed by Sujeeth
- Produced by UV Creations
- The movie features an ensemble cast including Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Chunky Pandey, and others. Notably, Prabhas made his Telugu debut, while Shraddha Kapoor made her Hindi debut with Saaho.
Saaho, the 2019 Indian Telugu-Hindi bilingual action film, was written and directed by Sujeeth and produced by UV Creations.
- The storyline revolves around two undercover agents who embark on a mission to track down a notorious thief who has stolen a staggering 2000 crores ($284 million). As they delve deeper into the investigation, they uncover a connection between the theft, the murder of a crime lord, and an escalating gang conflict for control over a sprawling metropolis.
- Saaho received a mix of reviews from critics. It garnered praise for its impressive performances, stunning visual effects, captivating cinematography, gripping soundtrack, well-executed action sequences, and intriguing plot. However, some critics expressed criticism towards the film’s storyline, direction, and overall length.
Despite the mixed reviews, Saaho proved to be a box-office success. It grossed approximately 419 crores ($59.5 million) to 439 crores ($62.34 million) against its budget of 350 crores ($50 million). The film’s commercial success demonstrated its appeal among audiences, contributing to its overall box office triumph.
5. Pushpa: The Rise (2021) | Highest-grossing movies in Tollywood
- Released on December 17, 2021
- Directed by Sukumar
Pushpa: The Rise – Part 01, the 2021 action drama film, is written and directed by Sukumar. Allu Arjun takes on the lead role, alongside Fahadh Faasil, who makes his Telugu debut, Rashmika Mandanna, and Jagadeesh Prathap Bandari.
- The film focuses on the journey of a low-wage worker involved in a red sandalwood smuggling network. Red sandalwood, a rare wood, is exclusively found in the Seshachalam Hills of Andhra Pradesh.
- Pushpa: The Rise was released on December 17, 2021. The film achieved significant financial success, grossing between 350.3 and 373 crores at the box office.
- It emerged as the highest-grossing Indian film of 2021 and stands among the top-grossing Telugu movies of all time. The film’s success not only solidified its popularity but also highlighted its commercial impact in the industry.
In conclusion, the Telugu film industry, known as Tollywood, has witnessed several highest-grossing movies that have left a lasting impact on the audience. These films have not only garnered massive box office collections but also garnered critical acclaim for their storytelling, performances, and technical aspects.
These highest-grossing movies in Tollywood not only showcased the industry’s commercial viability but also highlighted the talent and creativity of the filmmakers, actors, and technicians involved. They have played a significant role in the growth and popularity of Telugu cinema, both domestically and internationally. With each new release, Tollywood continues to push boundaries and captivate audiences with its diverse storytelling and entertainment.